Four Free Career Development Resources Every Student Should Be Using

Career Blog
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Published: February 10th, 2023 by Hannah Nguyen

Graduate students spend a significant amount of time juggling school, work, family and personal obligations. It can make it difficult to be aware of all the great FREE career resources you have as a student. Here is a list of four of the best career-building perks you can take advantage of right now.

Resume Feedback

Whether you’re looking for a job right now or planning for the future, now is a great time to seek feedback on your resume and cover letter. You might ask a trusted friend or colleague about their first impression, but you could also use a program called VMock for instant feedback and suggestions. All you have to do is sign in with your SJSU credentials and upload your resume. Within minutes, you’ll receive suggestions on how to improve your overall layout and wording. You’ll have to take the suggestions with a grain of salt since this program is using AI to provide an instant response, however it immediately pointed out some weak verbiage on my resume that I was able to improve. Image of VMock analyzing a resume

If you want more personalized recommendations, we also have a career center liaison who is an expert at resumes, CVs, and cover letters. Contact Carrie McKnight to set up an individual virtual appointment and talk to someone who knows what they are doing so that your resume can be the best reflection of your abilities and potential.

Interview Practice

Interviews can be intimidating and feeling nervous can sometimes interfere with how we present ourselves. So how do we put our best foot forward in such an unpredictable environment? Some studies show that recalling a situation where you felt powerful before an interview significantly improves interview outcomes. Part of your preparation should include research and practice, which is where Big Interview comes in. This application is free to students (and alumni within one year of graduating), and can help you learn about interview best practices, simulate interviews and show you how you’re presenting yourself. Image of practice interview in Big Interview

You can choose an “interview Roulette” which takes you through common interview questions and prompts you to record your response. Once you get past how uncomfortable it can be watch yourself in a recording, you’ll probably find it’s a very helpful way to boost your confidence. It’s much easier to answer a question you have answered ten times before. It’s also worth noting that I have been part of two different job interviews at public libraries who used an almost identical asynchronous virtual interview format for the first round of interviews. The best way to improve your interview skills is to interview more often, so I encourage you to try this out, whether you’re on the hunt for a new job, or are just feeling a little rusty.

Professional Development

Another great resource you have is free access to LinkedIn Learning. There are countless different learning paths to explore, watch, and earn certificates for. Many skills you can learn are relevant to the library and information science world such as web coding, data visualization, UX, and instructional design. You can also spend time developing soft skills like time management, interpersonal communication, or public speaking. You can even find very specific courses that align with your interests such as how to advocate for improved accessibility, or how to create a more inclusive work culture. Although some courses require a significant time commitment, many can be completed in as little as thirty minutes. Once you complete a course, you can add It to the “Licenses & Certifications” section of your LinkedIn profile, which may show prospective employers what some of your values and interests are.Image of LinkedIn Learning Certificate

Work Opportunities

According to the MLIS Skills at Work Report, 96% of job posts either require or prefer candidates with experience. If you haven’t signed up for Handshake, now is the time! It’s a job board targeted to SJSU students with a ton of job and internship opportunities. After you set up your account, you can explore job postings, network, and even attend virtual job fairs or events. You can even read reviews from other students who have worked at an institution or reach out to a former employee.

Have you tried any of these career development resources?   

Additional Resources

  • Hiring Librarians – This librarian and blogger interviews people who are on hiring committees at libraries.

Two More Things!

Don’t forget to keep up to date with job openings on Handshake, here are a few that might be of interest!

Also, remember that internships can be an especially valuable part of your learning experience at the iSchool while also helping you when it comes time to look for jobs. Learn more about the iSchool’s internship program here, where you can check out the INFO 294 Student Handbook as well as the Internship Sites database.


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